Post Graduation Work Permit
Canada offers the PGWP as part of its efforts to attract international students and retain them as immigrants. The PGWP is an open work permit, which allows international graduates to work for any Canadian employer without needing a job offer. Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWPs) are for international students who have graduated from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI). A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) gives you permission to remain in Canada and work full time for up to three years after you graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution. The length of the work permit depends on the length of your program. PGWP is an excellent way to advance your professional goals and gain Canadian work experience, which you might need to qualify for permanent residence.
PGWP quick facts
PGWP eligibility requirements
To be eligible for a PGWP, you must have:
Authorized leave from studies?
There are a few cases where you may be able to take a leave of up to a maximum of 150 days from your program of studies and still be considered to be actively pursuing your studies. Following conditions and/or circumstances may be considered as an authorized leave:
You can not work on or off campus during an authorized leave from your study program, even if your study permit says you are allowed to work in Canada.
PGWP application deadline
The deadline to apply for the PGWP is within 180 days upon obtaining a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the requirements to complete the program of study have been met.
If an applicant is applying from within Canada, they must have valid legal status at the time of application. If the study permit is set to expire before obtaining an official transcript and letter of completion, there are 2 options:
When applying, applicants must demonstrate that they either hold a valid study permit, held a study permit, or were authorized to study in Canada without the requirement to obtain a study permit under paragraphs 188(1)(a) and (b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
If you stay in Canada and let your permit expire, you must apply to restore your status as a student to apply for your PGWP.
If you are in any of these groups, you may be eligible for a PGWP:
If you complete your study program in less time than the normal length of the program, you may be eligible for a PGWP valid for the full length of your program. For example, if you complete a 1-year study program in 8 months, you may be able to get a PGWP valid for 1 year.
If distance learning makes up less than 50% of your study program, you may be eligible for a PGWP. The length of the PGWP would match the length of your program, including both in-class and distance courses. Any distance courses completed outside Canada will not be included in the length of the PGWP. If distance learning makes up more than 50% of your study program, you are not eligible for a PGWP.
Transfers between schools
If you transferred between designated learning institutions (DLIs), the combined length of your studies must be at least 8 months to be eligible.
If you transferred from a non-DLI to a DLI, only the time you spend studying at the DLI will be counted. You must spend at least 8 months at the DLI to be eligible for a PGWP.
Canadian study programs with an overseas component
If your study program has an overseas component, you may be eligible for a PGWP as long as you earn a credit from a Canadian school for it. The PGWP will only be valid for the length of the time you studied in Canada.
Ineligible PGWP Applicants
International students are ineligible for the PGWP Program if they: